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Mike Bell is an Eagle, Owners Change OT


Saints Decline On Bell; Change to Playoff Overtime
By Lance Epstein

The clock has not struck 11:59 p.m. yet but ESPN's Adam Schefter and Scouts.com's Adam Caplan are reporting that the New Orleans Saints will decline to match the offer sheet that tailback Mike Bell signed a week ago.

According to Caplan, the Eagles informed him personally that the Saints will not match the contract.

Last week, Bell visited the NovaCare Center and signed a one-year $1.7 million contract. If Bell meets certain incentives the contract could be worth $2 million. Since he was a restricted free agent tendered with a "right-to-refusal" clause, the Saints had an opportunity to match.

In 2009, Bell rushed for 654 yards and five touchdowns. Over his four year career, Bell has complied 1,376 yards rushing, 191 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns.

More importantly, Bell gives the Eagles a veteran back-up running back to the starter Lesean "Shady" McCoy. The 27-year-old has starter in his career, which might be a need incase McCoy struggles in pass protection in 2010.

Furthermore, Bell gives the Eagles something they have lacked for a while, which is an in between the tackles, power runner. Additionally, he has only 348 carries in his four-year career, so he definitely has tread on the tires.

Owners Change OT Rules

According to NFL league sources, the NFL owners approved a rule change for the 2010 playoffs. Today, Jeffrey Lurie and along with his fellow owners voted 28-4 in favor of the new overtime proposal at the NFL's Annual Meeting in Orlando, FLA.

"Plenty of people on the committee, myself included, are so-called traditionalists," Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian said. "I am proud to be one. But once you saw the statistics, it became obvious we had to do something."

The owners will reconvene in May at the NFL's second owners meetings to see if the modified overtime rules will apply to the regular season.

Next year in the post-season, if the team that wins the coin toss and kicks a field goal then their opponent will receive the ball. However, if the team that wins the toss and scores a touchdown then the game will be over. If the defense gets a safety, the game will be over immediately.

"Our fans like this rule," Patriots Owner Robert Kraft said. "Especially at playoffs, you don't want to be at home, lose the coin toss, they kick a field goal, and all of a sudden it's over. We've got to keep it fresh."

According to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora said the only four teams against the changes were the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills.


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